Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ben Carson Wins GOP Straw Poll

Via The Hill:
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson won the presidential straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City on Saturday, beating out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Carson won 25.4 percent of the vote, while Walker took 20.5 percent and Cruz received 16.4 percent. Other GOP presidential hopefuls and potential candidates finished far behind the top trio. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie finished a distant fourth with 5.3 percent of the vote, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry took 5 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won 4.9 percent. Winning the straw poll could provide a boost to Carson’s long-shot candidacy. “The fact of the matter is that I believe our founders set up a system that wasn’t supposed to cater to a political class,” Carson said at the conference. “It was supposed to cater to the people.”
Walker and Perry are expected to formally announce their candidacies in the next couple of weeks.

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Panti Bliss: I'm Drunk On Yes

"Yes. It's such a little word but today it feels so big. YES. Has one simple syllable ever meant so much before? Not to me anyway. I've never asked anyone to marry me, but today it feels like I asked a whole country to marry me and they said Yes. And I'm delighted. Ecstatic. I'm over the gay moon and drunk on Yes, and like any happy groom on his wedding morning, I'm truly, deeply, madly in love. I am in love with the whole country.

"Groups of men and women all across the country - students with shaved heads and grandmothers with headscarves, indefatigable activists and groggy-from-night-work taxi drivers - knocking on the doors of their fellow citizens in the pursuit of a simple and beautiful idea: the we are all equally deserving of respect.

"On Friday, Ireland agreed with that simple proposition. Forty years after those first brave men and women stood up and said, 'no more', the people of Ireland said Yes, and what must have seemed impossible all those years ago has been achieved: Ireland's LGBTI citizens are full and equal citizens under the law." - Panti Bliss, writing for the Sunday Independent.

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IRELAND: Celebration In Dublin



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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Breitbart Has The Ireland Sadz

"To the very end, opponents of same-sex marriage in Ireland held out hope. Yesterday they were reporting high numbers of immigrant Africans and Muslims standing in line at polling stations and hoped they would balance out the hordes of young people who were expected to make Ireland the first country in the world to vote for same-sex marriage. The campaign was marked by charges of hatred and homophobia against gays, often made by officials of the government. Those charges continued on the morning of the victory. On the Marian Finucane radio show this morning in Dublin, voting 'no' was described as a 'homophobic act.' The vote in Ireland will likely embolden similar efforts around Europe. With the addition of Ireland, same-sex marriage is now allowed in 18 countries around the world." - Hate group leader Austin Ruse, writing for Breitbart.

NOTE: Muslims make up barely 1% of Ireland's population. Immigrants from African nations comprise 0.9%.

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Brian Brown Has The Ireland Super Sadz

"We want to thank David Quinn and The Iona Institute for fighting the good fight running the No campaign against tremendous odds in Ireland. We are disappointed but not surprised with the apparent passage of a referendum in Ireland providing for the redefinition of marriage in that country. This is a reflection on the increasingly secularized nature of Ireland, together with the utter abandonment of principle by every political party in the nation, all of whom endorsed the referendum. This, combined with intense harassment of any group or individual who spoke out in opposition to the referendum, made it difficult for opponents.

"Despite this, millions of Irish citizens stood to vote to uphold the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Even with this decision in Ireland, the idea of same-sex marriage has been widely rejected by the community of nations around the world, where only 18 nations recognize same-sex 'marriage', almost all of them in the west, which represents less than 10% of the nations in the world.

"If there is any relevance to the Irish vote for people here in the United States, it is that the US Supreme Court should take note that the people of Ireland at least had the opportunity to vote. This is what we demand of our justices — respect the right of people to define marriage in the law for themselves. If that occurs, we are confident that the American people will continue to support marriage in the law as it exists in reality — the union of one man and one woman in order to provide the ideal environment for any children born of their union." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, lying about the numbers as always, via press release. Bolding is motherfucking mine.

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LIVE VIDEO: Eurovision 2015 Finals
UPDATE: Sweden Wins, Russia Takes Second, Italy Finishes Third

Hold on my tender kittens because Gay Christmas is not over yet! The Eurovision 2015 finals in Vienna begin at 3PM US east coast time. The favorites are Sweden and Russia, but I'm still partial to the UK, Latvia, Slovenia, Cyprus, and Israel - in that order. (I think.) Jump into the comments, follow along, and give us your favorites and reviews. Conchita Wurst, last year's winner, will be hosting the green room segments and it looks like the house is packed with our people, as always.

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The Almost Entirely Emerald Isle

Only the Roscommon-South Leitrim Constituency voted "NO" and that was by barely more than one thousand votes.

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IRELAND: It's Official!

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Happy St. Panti's Day!

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Porno Pete Has The Ireland Sadz

David Quinn is the head of Ireland's anti-gay Iona Institute.

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Sing It, Judy!

No gay celebration is complete without some Judy Garland!

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IRELAND: Right Now In Dublin

UPDATE: It looks like the above UK-based NPR reporter is mistaken and that the photo he tweeted this morning is actually from yesterday. Doesn't matter, we'll take it.

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Today's Irish Daily Mirror

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Quote Of The Day - Evan Wolfson

"With a nationwide landslide in favor, Ireland now becomes the first country in the world to pass the freedom to marry by popular referendum, as well as the 21st nation and the 10th predominantly Catholic country in which same-sex couples can marry. Our Irish colleagues at Yes Equality ran a magnificent campaign and Freedom to Marry is proud to have shared what we’ve learned in our own campaign here in the US. The global momentum for the freedom to marry reflects and reinforces the progress we are making here in the United States – and we look now to the Supreme Court to bring our country to national resolution, following Ireland’s good example." - Evan Wolfson, head of Freedom To Marry, via press release.

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CBS: Ireland Embraces Same-Sex Marriage

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IRELAND: Mothers & Fathers Matter Offers "Warm Congratulations" To Yes Campaign

"We offer our warm congratulations to the YES campaign on their victory. There are thousands of people who worked hard for them to achieve this result, and they can be justifiably happy with their efforts today. Though at times this campaign was unpleasant for people on all sides, nobody who involves themselves in a campaign does so with anything but the good of their country at heart. There is no better way to resolve difference than the way we are using today. From our point of view, we have represented a proportion of the population greater than those who support any political party. One in three Irish people in this campaign was not represented by the political establishment, the media, or the institutions of state. We are proud to have fought on behalf of those voices when nobody else would. Today’s result was achieved by the Government after they issued certain promises about surrogacy, adoption, and a range of other issues. A lot of voters believed those assurances and they must now be kept." - Mothers & Fathers Matter, via press release.

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From Ireland's Minister Of Equality

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IRELAND: Headlines Of The Day

Watch live coverage here.

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IRELAND: Fine Gael Calls It

From the Associated Press:
Leaders on both sides of Ireland's gay marriage campaign say advocates of legalization have won a resounding victory with the ballot count still underway. Senior figures from the "no" campaign, who sought to prevent Ireland's constitution from being amended to permit gay marriage, say the only question Saturday is how large the "yes" side's margin of victory will be from Friday's vote. An Irish Cabinet minister, Leo Varadkar, who came out as gay at the start of the government's campaign, says Dublin looks to have voted about 70 percent in favor of gay marriage, while most districts outside the capital also were reporting strong "yes" leads. Official results come later Saturday. Varadkar said: "We're the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world of liberty and equality. It's a very proud day to be Irish."

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Panti Bliss: IT'S A LANDSLIDE

Less than one hour into the counting of the ballots, leading Irish activist Panti Bliss is calling it a landslide in favor of same-sex marriage. Three minutes later David Quinn, founder of the anti-gay Iona Institute tweeted his congratulations to the Yes Equality side. From the Irish Times:
First indications show a strong Yes vote for same-sex marriage in urban areas as counting gets under way in count centres around the country. Ballot boxes were opened at 9am and votes cast in the same-sex referendum are being counted first. While the official result is not expected until this evening, early tallies are expected to give a clear indication of the likely result. Prominent No campaigner and director of the Iona Institute David Quinn seemed to concede the vote tweeting “Congratulations to the Yes site. Well done.” According to Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin the vote seems to be heavily in favour of allowing same-sex marriage. Speaking from the main count centre in Dublin shortly after the first tallies emerged Mr Ó Ríordáin said: “I think it’s won. I’ve seen bellwether boxes open, middle-of-the road areas who wouldn’t necessarily be liberal and they are resoundingly voting yes”. Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has said it’s looking like an emphatic yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum. Fine Gael Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said it’s now a question of whether any constituency will return a no vote.
Results have not yet been posted to the government's official tabulation site.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

IRELAND: And Now We Wait

Counting of the ballots begins at 9AM local time and the final result should be known by midday. I'll be up very early to begin my reporting so readers on US west coast might want to check in here when you stumble in from the bars. Voter turnout today was very encouraging:
Minister for Communications Alex White, the director of elections for the Labour Party, said he had been monitoring his Dublin South constituency. “It seems likely that turnout will finish as high, if not higher than in the general election. I think something very big happened in Ireland. A whole new generation has been politicised.” Those on the No side also acknowledged that the large turnout in Dublin, in particular, was likely to tip the balance in favour of a Yes. Tipperary Independent deputy Mattie McGrath, one of only two TDs who publicly called for a No vote, said it looked likely that the high turnout in Dublin would carry the proposal.

“It should be good for a Yes if there is a high Dublin turnout,” Mr McGrath said. “The polls were saying 80-20, 70-30, even if it is 60-40 it would be a fine vote for No, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens later when the boxes are open.” Senator Rónán Mullen, also on the No side, said committed No voters had turned out, as well as those strongly for a Yes, and said many in urban areas were not in favour of same-sex marriage. Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said he was “quietly confident but almost afraid to believe it in case it goes the wrong way”. He added: “Turnout was good and younger voters turned out in big numbers.”
Whatever the result, we will always stand in awe of the fantastic messaging and tactics of Yes Equality and their allies. We've never seen a marriage campaign that was pulled off so skillfully or one with such an adept usage of social media. And when else, in the history of everything, have we ever seen every major political party and almost every major elected official walk proudly into the rainbow-hued light? True, Ireland is a small country and activists there had the definite advantage of having seen what worked and what didn't in other countries. But every Yes Equality supporter can go to bed tonight happy in the knowledge that, as Panti Bliss put it, they could not have done more.

Go raibh maith agat, Ireland!

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Porno Pete Flops At IML

It's International Mister Leather weekend in Chicago and yesterday Porno Pete announced a "press conference" to be held today outside the Leather Archives. Pity the press didn't show up. Via DNA Info:
A handful of anti-gay activists and their cameramen held an event Friday morning dubbing the longstanding Leather Archives & Museum a "perversion museum" that promotes incest, pedophilia and sadomasochism to children. But Rogers Park neighbors weren't having it. Naperville-based hate group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality planned the protest at the 16-year-old, adults-only museum at 6418 N. Greenview Ave. in before the International Mr. Leather conference this weekend Downtown. The four protesters who showed up on behalf of the group (not counting two camera men documenting the whole thing) were quickly outnumbered by local detractors telling them to "go home." LaBarbera said the museum promoted incest, pedophilia and sadomasochism in a residential neighborhood near schools. The museum also promotes "consensual sexual violence" and "consensual slavery," he said. But LaBarbera wouldn't say how passing children could get inside the museum, where only adults are admitted and the door is locked around the clock.
Porno Pete was also very upset because the museum's neighbors ripped up the anti-gay flyers he'd placed on car windshields around the neighborhood. Because that's censorship! And closing down a museum isn't! Accompanying Porno Pete was Mike Heath, who years ago was booted out of the very anti-gay Maine Family Policy Council for being too much of a douchebag, even for them. Hit the link for more about today's nonsensery.

(Tipped by JMG reader Rebecca)

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Headline Of The Day

Whoa! Details. (Tipped by JMG reader Rafael)

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Scruff Hook-Up App Creates Traveler Alert: Gay Sex Is Illegal In This Country

The New York Times reports that the hook-up app Scruff has created a warning for users in countries where homosexuality remains illegal
To help keep users safer, Scruff is adding a new traveler alert feature this week. Now, when a user arrives in one of the nearly 100 countries where homosexual acts are criminalized, an alert will pop up when they open Scruff. Headed to Sudan? You might want to be aware that sexual acts between consenting adult males are illegal there, and can lead to corporal punishment or even the death penalty.

The app’s users do not always avoid hostile regions. In fact, more than 100,000 users with Scruff accounts that are registered in the United States, Britain or Australia were traveling in places where homosexuality is illegal over a recent 30-day period, according to a study Mr. Silverberg made available. (He said Scruff users overall number around eight million.)

Scruff has used a similar alert before, in the case of the report last year from the user in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Mr. Silverberg said, Scruff sent out a one-time in-app alert, notifying members in that area about what they had heard, and cautioning them to be careful. Grindr sent a similar alert to users last fall, based on similar stories coming out of Egypt.
Scruff has also limited the GPS function with "location obfuscation" - other users will be able to see that users that are relatively near to them, but without being able to identify the exact location. Critics of GPS-based hook-up apps have previously warned that the users are vulnerable to location triangulation by police or criminals. They claim that the triangulation can be so precise that a user's presence in specific rooms of a building can be identified.

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Tweet Of The Day - Panti Bliss

The polls close in 90 minutes.

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Franklin Graham Has The Boy Scouts Sadz

"Robert Gates, shame on you for not having the moral courage to do what is right. Yesterday Gates, the president of Boy Scouts of America, called for an end to the group’s ban on gay troop leaders. What are you thinking? We shouldn’t shift as the winds of cultural change blow through society; we need to stand for God’s truth and things that are morally right. This move is bending to LGBT activist groups and would put young, innocent boys at risk. I encourage every former Boy Scout and every parent involved in the Boy Scouts to let Robert Gates know how displeased you are and that if he leads the organization down this road, they may lose your support, your participation--and your sons." - Franklin Graham, writing on his Facebook page.

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Tony Perkins: Pastors Will Be Dragged "Kicking And Screaming" From The Pulpits

But not right away! Miranda Blue writes at Right Wing Watch:
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrapped up his group’s annual “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors’ conference by warning the conservative pastors in the audience that although they “may have five years” before they are dragged “kicking and screaming” out of their churches if the Supreme Court strikes down same-sex marriage bans, they should start preparing their congregations for “persecution.” “We are about to be challenged to the very core of what it means to be a Christian,” he said. “If the court hands down this decision redefining marriage for America, they’re not going to come and take you, dragging and kicking and screaming out of your church in the next six months. You may have five years. But let me tell you who’s going to face it first,” he said. “It’s your folks that are sitting in the pew.”

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TLC Pulls Duggar Show From Schedule

Via the Hollywood Reporter:
TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting from its schedule in the wake of star Josh Duggar's admission that he molested several underage girls 12 years ago, including his sisters. TLC refused to comment on the incident Thursday, but the network sparked outrage later that evening when it ran a 19 Kids and Counting marathon. As of early Friday, the show had been scheduled to air on the morning of May 27, but it has since been taken off the schedule. The move is no surprise considering that TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo shortly after allegations surfaced about a romantic relationship between series matriarch June "Mama June" Shannon and a man convicted of child molestation. Like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, 19 Kids and Counting is one of the cable channel's biggest brands. The show has been on the air since 2008 and is in its 15th season. The profile of the Duggar family had been on the rise in recent years thanks to national magazine covers focused on the marriages and pregnancies of the Duggar children.
The show hasn't been officially canceled. YET.

UPDATE: TMZ reports that General Mills has "blacklisted" the show.

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STUDY: PrEP Reaches Max Effectiveness Against HIV After One Week Of Dosing

Poz.com reports:
Daily Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV takes five to seven days to reach top estimated effectiveness among men who have sex with men (MSM). High levels of protection are maintained for perhaps a week after the last dose. According to levels of drug detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and comparisons of those results to drug levels estimated in previous research to correspond to varying degrees of protection against HIV, one day on PrEP led to a 75 to 91 risk reduction, three days meant a 95 to 97 percent risk reduction, and five and seven days translated to a 98 to 99 percent risk reduction. The presumed risk reduction stayed higher than 90 percent for seven days after the last dose. Although the study included female participants, it was not meant to estimate how well PrEP dosing protects them or other groups, just MSM. The iPrEx study used as the reference point for Truvada’s effectiveness at various concentrations in PBMCs was only conducted among MSM and trans women.
Hit the link for more about the study.

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Bryan Fischer: Don't Blame Tony Perkins

"Certainly Mr. Perkins should have had this information at the time the hiring decision was made. Why he didn’t is a matter for another day, but in point of fact he didn’t have it, and when he did get it, he acted quickly and correctly. The public revelations of what happened over a decade ago will certainly rock the Duggar family for years to come and will unsettle the folks at FRC and in the larger pro-family community for a time. But whatever failures led to this, none of them can be laid at Tony Perkins’ feet. Heartbreaking? Yes. Hypocritical? Absolutely not." - Bryan Fischer, writing for the American Family Association.

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Mike Huckabee: The Bloodthirsty Media Has It Out For The Duggar Family

Huckabee has an interesting definition of "honest and open."

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IRELAND: Red-Caped Catholic Loons Say Yes Voters Have Been Mean To Them

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Tweet Of The Day - Big Gay Ice Cream

Big Gay Ice Cream has two Manhattan locations, one in Philadelphia, and one about to open in Los Angeles.

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CANADA: Michael Sam Signs Two Year Deal With Montreal's CFL Franchise

Via The Score:
The CFL's Montreal Alouettes have signed former NFL defensive end Michael Sam to a two-year contract. Sam, who made headlines as the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL, never played a regular-season snap in the league. Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams at final cuts prior to the 2014 season and later spent time on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad. The 25-year-old was out of football last season. He competed at the NFL's inaugural veteran combine this spring but managed only a 4.99-second 40-yard dash.
The Canadian Football League was founded in 1958 and has nine teams. Its championship Grey Cup game is Canada's most-watched sporting event. (Tipped by JMG reader Dave)

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IRELAND: Voter Turnout Is Promising

Via the Irish Times:
Turnout in the world’s first referendum on same sex marriage and on the age of candidates for the presidency is reported to be brisk. Some urban areas estimated that 20 per cent of the electorate have cast their vote but voting is slower in many rural areas. Ireland is the first country to vote on marriage equality and in Dublin some turnout was seen as quite high for lunchtime. Returning officers expect voting to increase significantly by tea-time with most people in employment expected to vote between 7pm and 10pm when polling finishes. In a number of polling stations in Galway city queues were reported before polling opened at 7am. In city areas of Cork polling hit 12 per cent by 1pm. Across the country in Mayo voting was estimated at 17 per cent in Westport by lunchtime and about 10 per cent or 11 per cent in Castlebar.
RELATED: Bookmakers Paddy Power are putting the odds at 10/1 in favor of the Yes vote.

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MLB Launches Pride Wear Line

Major League Baseball has launched a line of "Pride" rainbow t-shirts and hats. T-shirts are $30 and caps are $20. Not all teams are available at this writing, but right now I'm seeing the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics, and Washington Nationals. See them here. (Tipped by JMG reader Jeremy)

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John Stemberger Has The Boy Scouts Sadz

"Trail Life USA is saddened by the announcement regarding the anticipated membership change in Boy Scouts of America, as many families and boys will be negatively affected by this departure from their own long-standing principles. It is tragic that the BSA is willing to risk the safety and security of its boys because of peer pressure from activists groups. Trail Life USA remains committed to timeless Christian values and to the hundreds of Charter Organizations and 23,000 members in 48 states." - Trail Life USA founder John Stemberger, via press release. Stemberger is also the head of the Florida Family Policy Council, which has been represented by the Liberty Counsel in its multiple failed attempts to thwart same-sex marriage.

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WND Reports On Duggar Scandal

World Net Daily fails to report that four of the girls molested by Josh Duggar were his own sisters. Sample reader comment: "This is another attack against FRC, because they refuse to give in to the Nazi-Gay Agenda." 

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Petition To TLC: Cancel The Duggars' Show

See it here. (Tipped by JMG reader Mykel)

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AUSTRALIA: Lawmaker Threatens Mankini March If Gay Marriage Isn't Legalized

Australian Sen. Glenn Lazarus, a former pro rugby player, has threatened to lead a "mankini" march on Parliament if same-sex marriage is not legalized. Via the Brisbane Times:
The Palmer United Party turned independent Senator commented on fellow Queensland Canberra colleague Wayne Swan's recent admission he was wrong to stand against same-sex marriage and would now support making it legal. Mr Lazarus told ABC Radio 612 Brisbane he was in favour of the move. "As I said in the past I think there is way too much child abuse, too much abuse against women - I think if two people love each other, whether they've got penises or they've both got vaginas, they should be allowed to be married," he said. But he said he didn't believe that politicians should be in charge of the decision. "What I do agree with, and a lot of people are saying, is why are politicians the ones that have got to decide this? "I think we should take it to a referendum. Unfortunately a lot of politicians are bound by party policy: we either have a conscience vote, or we get a referendum going and I would guarantee, the majority of Australians would support gay marriage, and if they don't I'll turn up to Parliament House in a mankini." Mankinis were made famous by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in his role as Borat. They have been used as a threat against humanity ever since.
During his rugby career, sportscasters called Lazarus "the brick with eyes" due to his imposing physical size. Support for same-sex marriage in Parliament is thought to be just a few votes short of passage.

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GALLUP: Americans Continue To Greatly Overestimate Percentage Of Gays In USA

Via Gallup:
The American public estimates on average that 23% of Americans are gay or lesbian, little changed from Americans' 25% estimate in 2011, and only slightly higher than separate 2002 estimates of the gay and lesbian population. These estimates are many times higher than the 3.8% of the adult population who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Gallup Daily tracking in the first four months of this year. The stability of these estimates over time contrasts with the major shifts in Americans' attitudes about the morality and legality of gay and lesbian relations in the past two decades. Whereas 38% of Americans said gay and lesbian relations were morally acceptable in 2002, that number has risen to 63% today. And while 35% of Americans favored legalized same-sex marriage in 1999, 60% favor it today.
Only 9% of respondents estimated the LGBT population to be under 5%.

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Scrabble Updates Its Dictionary

CNN reports:
Scrabble dictionary has added lotsa new words for its players, and some are so ridic, they'll make you lolz. The venerable board game has an additional 6,500 words, including a few once limited to social media and technology. The words are straight from the mouths of the cool kids. There's lotsa, twerking, lolz, emoji and ridic -- short for ridiculous. Facetime, which means talking with someone via the Apple app of the same name, will earn you a cool 15 points. Emoji, that ridiculously expressive digital icon, will get you 14 points. Bezzy -- best friends in regular speak -- adds 18 points. The list goes on and on. Wahh -- a shorter, more lyrical word for wailing, is in there. And who knew that shootie, a shoe that covers the ankle, is even a word?
Also: blech, sexting, and shizzle. Yes, shizzle.

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IRELAND: Ex-Pats Come #HomeToVote

Thousands of Irish ex-pats have swarmed airports over the last 24 hours as they return home to vote in today's referendum. Follow along on Twitter. (Tipped by JMG reader Gerard)

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